WHO: Newness was founded by CEO Jenny Qian, who most recently served as Twitch's Senior Director of Business Strategy, and CTO Youri Park in 2019 with the idea of creating a more positive version of Twitch, focusing more on moderation to keep communities safer. Newness is focused on building differentiated tools and features that work well for the beauty industry. This includes offering options for both public and private streams, engagement mechanisms that reward positive contributions, moderation features, and the ability for fans to earn access to free beauty products through community participation.
WHY: The company plans to use the money to build out its iOS consumer app in 2021 to complement a streaming app dedicated to creators and expand its 14-person team.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "I was so used to the format from Twitch. And, in some ways, I feel like I was spoiled with livestreaming," Qian told TechCrunch. "Being able to hang out with streamers, ask questions and learn from them was something that made the live format so compelling."
"It made me scratch my head and think: Why didn't something like this exist for the beauty community? It's a community that is just as passionate, if not more so … and it's a content category that is so incredibly popular. How come there isn't a live medium available?" she wondered.
- Newness closed a $3.5 million seed round.
- Sequoia Capital led the round, with participation from Cowboy Ventures, Upside Partnership, Dream Machine, Index Ventures, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, former Twitch execs Jonathan Shipman and John Sutton, Eventbrite founders Kevin and Julia Hartz, and Incredible Health co-founder Iman Abuzeid.
- The company raised an undisclosed amount of money in pre-seed funding, according to Crunchbase.
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